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iRealHousewives Exclusive Interview with Mary Amons

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing former Real Housewives of DC star Mary Amons. So what has Mary been up too since her time on RHODC? Well, Mary has been busy running her charity “Labels for Love” which raises funds and awareness to women and children’s causes which she launched since 2006, being a National spokesperson for as well as being a full time mom of her 5 kids. Mary talks about her time on RHODC, her divorce, and upcoming projects exclusively to iRealHousewives.

iRH: How were you approached to join RHODC?

MA: The same day I first sat in Jason Backe's (Ted Gibson's husband/business partner) chair getting my hair colored at their not quite opened DC salon location, I received an email from a friend in PR who asked if I would be open to taking a meeting with a casting director of a reality show being pitched for DC. Jason and I were more than giddy at this surprise invitation! I, of course was curious and took the meeting, asked some very specific and investigative questions, got on my knees and prayed whether it was the worth it to put myself and my family in the hands of editors and public exposure....and...after much contemplating and prayer, God spoke and I/we went for it! Our cast was not officially informed until the first day of shooting and contracts were signed! BravoTV is so (not) sneaky!

iRH: Overall how would you describe your experience on the show?

MA: Overall, I had a great time! I loved sharing this experience with my dear and long time friend Lynda, loved getting to know Cat and Stacie and was entertained by more of the unreal and outlandish antics of "that couple. " The false accusations that were directed towards Lolly were difficult to take for sure. Overall, RHODC was a fun experience for our family, Lolly and I had a blast together on camera and Kona for sure stole the show!

iRH: How long did you film the RHODC?

MA: 5 months, 5 days a week for most of the day.

iRH: As you stated in the reunion, the Salahi’s hijacked the season. Do you think if it wasn’t for them there would have been a second season of RHODC?

MA: The jury is out about why exactly Andy Cohen (@BravoAndy) didn't bring us back. The White House incident seems to be the most obvious reason, but we were never given a clear answer about why things didn't work out for a second season. There has been much speculation about the fact that we were not brought back and many unhappy fans that are still demanding more of us! Our show just aired in the UKand Irelandwhich has brought a whole new set of fans and now unhappy ones that they don't have more of us as RHODC. There have been many people that have expressed a strong desire to have us back to both Andy and the network. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and frankly, I'm focused on many new exciting career opportunities ahead.

iRH: How did you react when you got notified that Bravo wasn’t going to a second season of DC Housewives?

MA: When I made the decision to sign on, I had a significant gut feeling that it would be a one time amazing opportunity to expose my charity, Labels for Love on a national level and spring board into the entertainment business. I have had a life long dream to be an actress/tv host for as long as I can remember. I appreciate this once in a lifetime opportunity but also didn't want to stay in the reality genre for long. My grandfather, Arthur Godfrey was one of the pioneers of radio and television and I have had aspirations of continuing his legacy since I was a young girl. I'm excited to say that things are happening just as I suspected and prayed for!

iRH: How’s life after “The Real Housewives of DC”?

MA: Life is and always has been very busy for me. As a mother of 5 children, it is seriously non-stop! Now that I am a single mother, with new career pursuits, life is seriously, seriously busy and some days seem crazy! I do go to bed and wake up every day feeling extreme gratitude for my amazing family, incredible opportunities and special friends that I have in my life. I couldn't function without any one of them. I am constantly amazed by the people I encounter out and about as a person in the public eye. I would say this aspect is the biggest blessing in all of this, to be able to meet and hear the stories of the most amazing people in this world. I don't place a high value on fame at all, I value people for the true authenticity and honesty in who they are and what they give to the world. I am genuinely interested and fascinated by people.

iRH: Do you still keep in touch with any of the DC wives?

MA: I do keep in close touch with Lynda. We have been close friends for years and our experience together on RHODC only enhanced our friendship to which I am grateful. She's an amazing friend and mentor. Cat and I do keep in touch occasionally. She lives in Spain now and has just given birth to beautiful baby Zara! I'm so thrilled for her...and jealous! I love pregnancy, childbirth and babies. If I could I would have had 10! Stacie has been busy with a new job so we don't keep in as close contact now....and Michaele...well, she took the midnight train going somewhere and haven't see or heard from her since RHODC. I wish her the very best in her new life.

iRH: What’s your opinion of Michaele leaving Tareq? Would you ever consider talking to her now that she’s no longer married to Tareq?

MA: I have always wished Michaele the best. The girls were always concerned about her well being and stress she must have suffered in keeping up with the life that she and Tareq posed. I truly hope that this new relationship and move in her life will bring her much happiness and peace. Even after all of the nonsense and harm she and Tareq caused my family, I wish them both the best that life has to offer.

iRH: I know you and Rich are now divorced which makes me sad. However you two still support and respect each other and co-parent your kids. What advice would you give to couples who struggle co-parenting due to divorce?

MA: I to am sad that we have to go through divorce. If you would have told me that this would be apart of my story, I would have called you crazy. The divorce process is a grueling one for several reasons, especially those couples going through it with children. Rich and I are very much committed to making sure our kids understand that this decision was not at all their fault and is a positive and necessary move in an effort for to be a happy and peaceful family. We are committed parents and will always be a family with many happy years and memories together. I'm truly grateful for my beautiful family. A word of advice is to make sure to guard your attitude and tongue when speaking about your ex. It's almost super human but if kids have an understanding that there is a cohesive attitude in settling things and not undermining the other parent, everyone will feel a much better sense of security. No matter how old the kids, divorce for a family is enormously painful and causes upheaval regardless of the circumstances. Change is hard, but sometimes in order for things to stay moving forward, change is necessary. I also recommend family counseling to keep the communication flowing and emotions expressed!

iRH: What is your favorite and least favorite moment of the show and why?

MA: I have many favorite moments of RHODC, mostly ones that didn't landed on the cutting room floor! I experienced such fun with my kids, one in particular was in a batting cage with my youngest son, Matt. He didn't realize that I was such a great hitter and pitcher! Fortunately, our producers did edit and give me a copy of that fun day with Matt. Many fun and funny memories when the cameras were following us!

My least favorite moment was of course the dinner after the "grape stomp" when the Salahis accused Lolly of theft. All complete and proven nonsense. I said it well in a pick up interview and stand by my comment of feeling "sucker punched" after a hilarious day of stomping table grapes and witnessing the ridiculousness of that day. I laughed and appreciated the entertainment of the entire day until that moment. Our crew was even crying after that all went down. Horrific moment.

iRH: I know you are the founder of “Labels for Love”. Can you explain to my readers what your charity about?

MA: In 2006, I founded Labels for Love, a 501 C 3 organization to raise funds and awareness for women's and children's causes. I decided that it was time for DC to experience some interesting fashion and art inspired events to celebrate and support worthy causes. I grew up in a family that is very service oriented. My father, Robert Schmidt started a foundation in 1970 in honor of Coach Vince Lombardi that raised funds for the Lombardi CancerResearch Centerat Georgetown University. This was our family project with a golf and tennis event every summer that established a legacy of giving back, team work and serving the community. I realized the gift that this was to me and my siblings and had a desire to pass this important legacy on to my own children. Labels for Love has supported many worthy causes locally here in DC as well as Fran Drescher's organization, Cancer Schmancer. Currently, the focus of my fundraising efforts is Girl Power 2 Cure, an amazing organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome, a devastating neurological disorder that almost exclusively affects girls. I'm so excited to use this exposure in the entertainment business to support and make an impact on those women's and children's organizations in need of support.

iRH: If you had to chance to do it all over again, would you do it?

MA: I have no regrets about taking the leap to expose myself and my family on reality tv. As I said, I don't believe in accidents and I truly knew in my heart that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to take to open up Labels for Love to a mass audience and create a much larger exposure to raise more funds and awareness to the organizations I am passionate to support. I also had a gut feeling that RHODC would be only one season. I knew why they were interested in me and for me it was for positive reasons from what I could gather. My real worry if it were to go forward was that the unfortunate reality that the general public loves to see good people fail and fall. I believe in being authentic and real, but there is much risk at the hands of editors and producers to spin things. I value my family to much to expose them to this risk going forward. I am excited about all that is ahead and am so grateful for the opportunity to have such a unique experience. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and what is really important in this process.

iRH: If you could change anything during your time on RHODC, what would it be?

MA: Obviously, the false accusations by the Salahis towards my daughter Lolly is something that if I could change I definitely would. It was just criminal on their part to bring such egregious lies and accusations of theft, threats of jail and the FBI investigations, etc. directed towards an innocent child on national and international television. I am very proud of how Lolly handled herself, but not surprised being the gracious lovely young woman that she is.

I do feel like my anger and bitterness in having to listen to and be subject to the crazy couple got the best of me at the Reunion show, needless to say. That was shot in one long 18 hour day, and by the time they brought the men out to the set, I had hit my patience limit. Not my best moment.

iRH: If Bravo brought back RHODC for a revamped season and approached you to join, would you accept the proposal?

MA: I have some specific goals for my career and I'm not sure continuing with the Real Housewives franchise would help me achieve those goals. Also, as I said, exposing my family to the hands of editors and producers is extremely risky to go forward. I am grateful for all of the good things that have come from the experience. I'll keep moving forward to create more fun and success ahead!

iRH: What’s in store for Mary? Any future projects in the works that you tell us?

MA: I have a lifestyle book with a unique spin in development as well as a film project based on the career and life of my grandfather, legendary radio and television pioneer, Arthur Godfrey. Also, I just launched my voice over career! I have three reels produced for commercial, narration and promo work. I am working on securing my own radio show soon as well as pursuing opportunities with hosting, acting and producing films. Also, I will continue to work hard in my philanthropic efforts, promoting the Labels for Love Cross exclusively by Christofle as well as producing some fabulous fashion events in the coming year.

iRH: Anything you would like to say to your fans?

MA: It's a humbling and surreal statement to say that I have fans! I don't take for granted the appreciation they all show on a daily basis! I can count on one hand the number of times something negative has been directed at me, thankfully. I do my best to use this exposure to spread goodness. I love to encourage others to appreciate the good and the bad times, stay positive, hug your kids everyday, pursue your passions, love yourself, give without expecting anything in return, forgive and truly live in the moment and most importantly...LOVE. All things I wake up every morning reminding myself. Life is short and we all need to embrace the moment and be our best!

Stay Connected With Mary:
Twitter: @MaryAmons
Like Her Facebook Page: Click Here

Stay Connected with Labels for Love:
Facebook: Click Here

Stay Connected with Tix4Cause:
Twitter: @Tix4Cause
Facebook: Click Here

Photo Credit: Mary Amons

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